Ecommerce Security: Keep Your Shopify Store Safe And Protect Your Customers
Your ecommerce store is an investment. You've invested your money, time, and effort into building it. So it's not surprising that you want to do everything in your power to protect it. Unfortunately, hackers and malware can infiltrate even the most secure-looking websites, putting your business at risk. And if you have a Shopify store, you need to take extra precautions to ensure that your customers' data is kept safe at all times.
To help you strengthen your security, we've put together a checklist of the most critical elements of your eCommerce website. You can’t guarantee that your site will never be hacked, but following these tips will help you mitigate your risk.
What is eCommerce security?
In recent years, the number and sophistication of cyberattacks have increased dramatically. Ecommerce security refers to the steps taken to safeguard your company and your customers from cyber risks.
When it comes to protecting their websites, customer data, and financial transactions, most eCommerce businesses employ a combination of software and physical security measures.
Terms you need to know:
Before we dive any deeper into eCommerce security, we need to understand the terms used to better follow its concepts.
- Personal Data: This includes names, email addresses, and phone numbers, among other personal data. But it can get a little more complicated. Personal data is any data set that may identify a person, even if it is stripped of specific names or numbers. The GDPR requires that personal data be protected (more on that later).
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS): PCI DSS is an industry-standard that makes sure that credit card information that is collected online is being transmitted and stored in a secure way.
- International Organization for Standardization (ISO): ISO is an international standard-setting body that sets rules for businesses to follow in order to make sure their products and processes are right for the job. One of their standards, ISO/IEC 27001:2013, is about protecting data. A business can get this certification if it has high-quality management systems, data security, risk-avoidance strategies, and a set of standard business practices.
- Transport Layer Security (TLS), Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), and HTTPS authentication: SSL enables networked computers to authenticate and encrypt their connections. To show customers that your site is safe, you can move from HTTP to HTTPS after getting an SSL certificate for your eCommerce site, which means that your site is safe.
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA), 2-factor authentication (2FA), or 2-step verification (2SV): These terms are sometimes used interchangeably — and they are similar — but there are differences among them.
Two-step verification may require the user to enter a one-time code, delivered via an email, text message, or phone call. This is often referred to as 2SV.
Two-factor authentication goes a step further and may require the user to acknowledge their login attempt through another device, like opening a specific app on a mobile device while logging in from a laptop. This is often referred to as 2FA.
Multi-factor authentication is similar to 2FA but can refer to the implementation of more than two factors of authentication. This is often referred to as MFA.
- Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS): A DDoS attack occurs when a deluge of traffic overwhelms a server, service, or network, causing it to crash. Cloudflare's page on DDoS attacks compares it to traffic congestion. Pretend you're attempting to exit a major highway during rush hour, and all those cars are compromising traffic, obstructing your customers from exiting.
- Malware and ransomware: Malware, sometimes known as "malicious software," is software that is installed on your computer by hackers. It locks the victim out of their system or blocks access to data until a ransom is paid. Symptoms of infection include:
- Links go to the wrong page.
- New browser toolbars or desktop icons appear.
- You're constantly bombarded with ads.
- Your computer is sluggish, or your browser regularly freezes and becomes unresponsive.
- Your emails bounce.
In addition to entering a username and password, all three of these methods require at least one further method of identity verification of a user logging into a site — like your eCommerce store.
When it comes to online shopping, trust is everything.
Ecommerce security is a broad term that encompasses everything from your business’s website and its domain name to the integrity of its transactions, privacy of customer data, and so on.
An online business owner must demonstrate that their consumers may purchase with them without fear of identity theft or fraudulent transactions. In other words, they must use the most cutting-edge technology possible to safeguard their data from being stolen.
Ecommerce security is comprised of three aspects that you should take into account when designing your eCommerce store:
- Integrity: Integrity includes protecting the availability and accuracy of data. A breach of integrity occurs when information is changed without authorization or when it goes missing. A good example is a server crash that causes information loss.
- Privacy: Privacy includes preventing any activity that will lead to the sharing of customers’ data with unauthorized third parties. Apart from the online seller that a customer has chosen, no one else should access their personal information and account details.
A breach of confidentiality occurs when sellers let others have access to such information. An online business should put in place at least a necessary minimum of anti-virus, firewall, encryption, and other data protection. It will go a long way in protecting the credit card and bank details of customers.
- Authentication: Authentication certifies that both the vendor and the customer are real people. They must be who they claim to be. A company must demonstrate authenticity, integrity, and the ability to keep commitments. Customers must also offer to identify documentation to the vendor in order for the seller to trust them in online transactions. Authentication and identity may be ensured. If you are unable to do it yourself, hiring a professional is an excellent option. Conventional methods include client login information and payment card PINs.
E-commerce website security checklist
Using a variety of security measures is an effective way to increase your overall level of protection. DDoS attacks and contagious inbound traffic can be blocked via a widely distributed Content Delivery Network (CDN). They protect against malicious traffic by utilizing machine learning.
To add extra security, you can use Multi-Factor Authentication or the like. One such example is two-factor authentication. After the user enters their login information, they get a text message or an email right away. They can then take the next steps. Fraudsters won't be able to get into the legitimate users' accounts if this step is taken. They will need more than just usernames and passwords to get into the accounts. However, hackers can still get into your account even if you have an MFA.
Any Shopify store has an SSL certificate automatically included with its account — this is a big part of what makes Shopify so secure. However, it's important to understand the role that an SSL certificate plays in ecommerce security.
An SSL certificate (or more accurately: TLS certificate) is a type of digital certificate that encrypts sensitive information like passwords and credit card numbers so that only you and your customer can have access to them. This encryption keeps hackers from intercepting data being sent from your customers' devices to you.
As long as the sender and the server don't have an SSL certificate, any computer or other device between them can see private information. Hackers can exploit your exposed passwords, usernames, credit card numbers, and other information to commit identity theft. The SSL certificate helps you by making this data unintelligible.
Even if you have a small online store, it is important that you install anti-malware software on all electronic devices (including mobile phones) that access your website backend or even the internet. The same applies for computer systems and web servers that host your website.
To begin, install anti-malware software on your system to identify and mitigate malicious software or malware. Anti-malware software is a type of protection software that identifies and stops malware is required for your electronic devices, computer systems, and websites.
An excellent anti-malware program should detect any concealed viruses on your website that might destroy not only your business but also obtain the information of your customers.
The ideal anti-malware software should include live help and real-time scanning. Having a web application firewall is also very important, so make sure you have one. If you have a website, a web application firewall (WAF) can protect it from things like cross site scripting, SQL injection, and other common threats.
Make it a habit to keep up with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) to keep all credit card data safe from fraudsters. These standards must be followed by all businesses that accept credit card transactions:
The most important thing to do is to make sure that the admin credentials for the Shopify e-commerce store are safe. For your Shopify account, you should choose a cryptographically safe password that is at least 8-10 letters long and must be unique.
This password must be made up of both upper- and lower-case letters, as well as digits and other symbols.
Most of the time, the site owners use the same password on a lot of different sites, which means there is more risk in the event of an attack. So, it is good to use different passwords, which should be changed often.
Password vaults can be used to keep track of the different passwords used on different platforms so that operations don't get in the way.
Shopify is one of the safest eCommerce platforms accessible. Security is not a concern for business owners since it comes with several built-in security mechanisms.
Shopify has a powerful built-in fraud analysis technology that allows all merchants to self-analyze the danger. Shopify Plus businesses have extra capabilities to accurately assess risk.
This step is however often overlooked but is absolutely vital in security-related situations. Website owners can use tools like NS8 to further boost security and avoid any cyber-attacks. This is a sophisticated technique used by reputable companies to improve security.
One method to accentuate security is using two-factor authentication, largely adopted by popular platforms. It serves as double security and has great benefits.
In case of a breach, even when a password is cracked, this factor provides the much-added layer of security by asking for the other important set of details.
This key factor helps in laying down the correct foundation to a strongly guarded ecommerce store. Shopify eCommerce Store should be set up with this feature to enhance security and increase user trustworthiness.
Depending on the sort of business, there may be areas or sections of the platform that you'd like to limit access to only certain users.
People who run websites think it's important to separate users and investors, so they need to be able to use the platform with limited authorization. This approach can also help to increase security because the danger of a data breach increases when all of the information is accessible at the same time.
Errors can sometimes be a facet of human work. People sometimes mistakenly delete the whole set of data that they had on their computer by accident.
Having a good backup protects you in those situations and helps you to build your website better. To make your job easier, you should set up automatic backups. This will make your job run more smoothly and without a lot of problems.
Every organization, from multi-billion-dollar corporations to small, growing businesses, relies on this approach to respond with any security-related danger or information loss. Integrating this safeguard into your company processes is, therefore, a must.
Even with the most effective ecommerce software, there is no guarantee that you will never have to deal with security issues. From Shopify to Magento and even Woocommerce, ecommerce stores are vulnerable to attacks. This is not just because hackers have become more sophisticated in their attacks but also because people are becoming increasingly reliant on online shopping systems.
As an online store owner, you need to take quick action against such threats by having a strategic security plan in place. By implementing the right steps, you can safeguard your Shopify store and ensure that both you and your customers remain safe from hackers.